On the eve of International Literacy Day, Dhaka-based NGOs that work on disability rights addressed a joint press conference at Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU), under the aegis of Bangladesh Visually Impaired Peoples Society (BVIPS). They called for greater partnership between GOs and NGOs, a friendlier and more flexible curriculum for visually impaired students and most importantly, for children with disabilities to be covered under the education ministry instead of the ministry of social welfare. Md. Saidul Huq, Executive Director of BERDO and Vice-President of BVIPS was present at the meeting.
Popular English daily ‘The Daily Star’ reported:
Call to introduce Braille system in all educational institutions
Speakers at a press conference yesterday urged the government to introduce Braille system in all institutions to ensure education for visually impaired people. As most educational institutions, especially those in rural areas, have no such system the visually impaired children are deprived of education, they added. The press conference was organised by Bangladesh Visually Impaired Peoples Society (VIPS) in cooperation with Sightsavers International Bangladesh at Dhaka Reporters Unity ahead of the International Literacy Day today to draw the attention of the government to Braille system of education for visually impaired students.
The speakers said only four percent of visually impaired children get chance for education when the government is committed to ensure education for all by 2015 as per Dakar summit of 2000. Lamenting on the government’s attitude towards the people with disabilities, VIPS President Golam Mostafa suggested that like all other children, the children with disabilities should be brought under the education ministry instead of the social welfare ministry. In fact, the government itself believes like other people in the society that the people with disability especially the visually impaired are not capable of being established in the society, he said, adding that the government believes that mercy and kindness are enough for them. Executive Director of the Centre for Disability in Development (CDD) AHM Noman Khan said educational materials for the visually impaired children are produced in the country but there is no proper distribution system on behalf of the government. If the education ministry takes a comprehensive plan to provide education to children with disability including the visually impaired children then the problem will be solved to a large extent, he added.
Country Director of Sightsavers International Bangladesh Dr Wahidul Islam said the non-government organisations can make a model for providing education to visually impaired children but it should be the responsibility of the government to implement the model across the country. “Education for visually impaired children is a must if the government wants to ensure education for all,” he said stressing coordination between the ministries of education and social welfare. In a keynote paper, VIPS General Secretary Mosharraff Hossain Majumder put forward some proposals including training for the teachers at primary, secondary and higher secondary level to handle the students with disabilities.
(Source: The Daily Star, Tuesday, 08/09/2009)
Another daily ‘The News Today’ reported:
Ensuring access of vision impaired to education stressed
Leaders of Bangladesh Visually Impaired Peoples Society (BVIPS) today underscored the need for ensuring greater access of vision impaired people to education for attaining the goal of education for all by 2015, reports BSS. At a press conference at Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU), Advocate Mosharraf Hossain Majumder, General Secretary of BVIPS, said the country has now a total 1.40 crore disabled people. Out of them, 33 percent are vision impaired having only four percent access to education, he added.
The BVIPS organized the press conference supported by Sightsavers International, a royal commonwealth society for the blind. The press conference was organized marking the International Literacy Day to be observed in Bangladesh today (Tuesday) as elsewhere in the world. Country Director of Sightsavers International Dr Wahidul Islam, Vice-President of BVIPS Saidul Huq, General Secretary of National Forum of Organizations Working with the Disabled (NFOWD) Jowaharul Islam Momen, Executive Director of Centre for Disability and Development (CDD) AHM Noman Khan and Vice- President of BVIPS Nasreen Jahan were also present.
Advocate Mosharraf said there is a double standard in education system as general students have 97 percent access to education while only four percent for vision impaired students.Other speakers said the living standard of vision impaired children, youths and adults is poor as they are deprived of the rights of literacy and basic education. The only way of mainstreaming the disabled people is to ensure their greater access to education by providing them with trained teachers, education materials and Braille books, they said. They expressed their apprehension that the government’s target of ensuring education for all might not be fulfilled by keeping a large segment of the disabled out of quality education. The rate of literacy will be raised to a satisfactory level if the disabled are provided with necessary education support, the speakers hoped.
(Source: The News Today, Tuesday, 08/09/2009)
Posted By Abhilash Medhi
Posted Sep 8th, 2009